NEW YORK – When The Edge watched the Rolling Stones perform recently, his mask allowed him to remain unrecognizable as he followed guitarist Ron Wood from the front row.
“I have to say one of the benefits of wearing a mask is that it’s like a concealment device if you’re a famous face,” guitarist U2 recently told The Associated Press while promoting the charity. His Music Rising and auction on December 11 the famous guitar. and other rock memorabilia to support New Orleans musicians hit hard by the pandemic.
“Ronnie gave us a beautiful guitar for our auction. So I was delighted,” he said.
Founded by Edge and producer Bob Ezrin, the charity was started in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina to replace musical instruments lost in the floods. Once the pandemic hit, it found a new mission.
“We wanted to try and re-establish the live music scene, where it suffered a kind of major setback. So back in the post-Katrina era, we replaced the instruments. Now we’re not specific. We’re really ready to fund people’s livelihoods,” said Edge.
Two of Edge’s guitars that he has played extensively on tour with U2 will be among those for sale, including one he calls “One”.
“It’s a beautiful Les Paul and it’s really a rising Les Paul track, part of … a limited edition 300.”
The other is a custom Fender Stratocaster used while on tour to perform “Bad” and “Still Not Found I’m Looking For.”
“They’re really serious guitars that I’ve spent a lot of time playing and they’ll–they’ll be missed.”
Other guitar donors include Slash, Lou Reed, Steve Miller, and a Paul McCartney bass. During the interview, Edge held up a vintage photo of McCartney playing a guitar given to him in the studio while Stevie Wonder played the drums.
“Here are my two great heroes in one shot and that bass guitar is going up for auction.”
Ezrin, who has created a range of classic rock artists from Alice Cooper and Aerosmith to Pink Floyd and Kiss. Each person donated memorabilia for the auction. But Ezrin said guitarist Paul Stanley had to find his own donations.
“Paul Stanley went down to the warehouse to find a guitar because his guitar technology was eliminated by COVID, and he had to go find the guitar he wanted to give us on his own,” Ezrin said.
Some of the offerings are currently on display at the Van Eaton Gallery in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles.
“We feel this is a good time as venues are just starting to reopen to give these musicians a chance to get their gear back and play again,” he said, noting that many of the music Doctors had to sell tools to survive.
As for U2, Edge said the band has no plans to get back on the road. That’s fine with him because he’s in a “compose and compose” phase that coincides with the lockdown and pandemic.
“I’m a little heartbroken for survivor guilt because, you know, we didn’t have to cancel the tour,” he said. “We didn’t have anything public that we had planned for this period. And it just forced me to stay at home working on new songs, which is exactly what I needed to do.”
When U2 hit the road, he said he wanted to make sure it was safe for the fans. He’s different from other musicians like Eric Clapton, Van Morrison and Travis Tritt, who have resisted efforts by venues asking for proof of vaccinations or proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
“I find it very difficult to see why you would be against it,” he said. While there are no plans for U2’s next tour, Edge said that he “had no question in my mind that that’s the way, the way we should go about this. And I just don’t see any There’s no logic in not supporting the whole idea of vaccination.”